News & Analysis

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    Starting right now: The NSFWLIVE radio show is back for one day only. Listen live!

    Be careful what you wish for. A couple of months ago, I launched a crowdfunding campaign to produce an uncensored history of NSFWCORP, the news magazine (with jokes) that I founded back in 2011 and which was acquired by Pando back in February. As is expected when launching crowdfunding campaigns, I spent some time coming up with different reward levels — $5 for the ebook, $20 for the paperback — that kind of thing. Partly for…
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    The four delusions that cost VCs money

    Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Rick Lewis, General Partner at USVP. The post went through PandoDaily’s usual editorial process. Mr. Lewis was not paid for this post. “Why would I ever pay $250 for a shirt?” A highly-respected fellow VC asked me this rhetorical question soon after my firm invested in Trunk Club’s Series A round and I joined the company’s board of directors. In the three years since, Trunk Club CEO Brian Spaly and his team…
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    Is Uber good for urban communities?

    Last night, in the basement bar of a Harlem soul food restaurant, New York tech and social entrepreneurs gathered to air things out over two of the most talked-about issues in tech: Diversity and Uber. Over the past few months, as more and more major tech firms release diversity reports revealing disproportionately low numbers of women and minorities in technology positions, the problem of how to ensure opportunities for non-male, non-white tech workers has taken center stage. So have debates over…
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    Anonymous Site Spurs Talks Between Nikki Finke and Ex-Boss

    “In recent weeks, though, [Finke] had gone silent in the face of a legal dispute with the company that bought Deadline, Penske Media Corporation. It looked as if her career as a chronicler of Hollywood might be over. But now, a book deal and possible return to journalism are in the works.” – NYTimes
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    US judge says it’s “regrettable” that IBM can’t be punished for knowingly aiding apartheid

    From the holocaust to apartheid, where you or I see an atrocity, IBM sees an opportunity. Still, a US district judge has ruled that IBM cannot be prosecuted in the US for supplying computer systems to South Africa’s apartheid regime. Describing her own decision as “regrettable,” Judge Shira Scheindlin explained that the 1789 Alien Tort Statute doesn’t usually apply to behavior by companies outside of US borders. From Bloomberg: The judge said she was bound by earlier court rulings barring U.S.…
  8. Heyward Cover

    Come see Whisper’s Michael Heyward defend anonymity at the next PandoMonthly LA

    I strive for two types of guests when I book a year’s worth of PandoMonthlys. True legends who are perennially interesting, and up and coming entrepreneurs who are fascinating right this moment. Whisper’s Michael Heyward is the epitome of the latter. The debate over the good and bad of anonymity apps has been roiling the press and international governments this summer– spurred in no small part by our own reporting. With Secret making itself look so awful, Whisper tends to get…
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    Rovio admits its feathers have been clipped by announcing CEO replacement

    Rovio has announced that it will replace founder Mikael Hed as chief executive in January. The change, as the Wall Street Journal notes, is perhaps the first sign that the struggling company is aware that its plans to continue bastardizing the Angry Birds franchise might not be enough to save it. Hed will be replaced by the company’s chief commercial officer, Pekka Rantala, in 2015. It’s about time Rovio stopped pretending that its feathers still gleamed from the…
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    “How to sneak a Tesla into Russia for just 6.5 million rubles”

    The Verge has a fascinating story on Mail.ru founder Dmitry Grishin’s Herculean (and expensive) attempts to buy a Tesla Model S and bring it to his home country of Russia, navigating “five months of ordering, waiting, transporting, paperwork, and red tape.” [Source: The Verge]
  12. eSalon Package

    Watch out Loreal. Custom hair color startup eSalon invented a better mouse trap, and has the sales to prove it

    What are the odds that the biggest innovation in hair care this decade comes from a team of guys known previously for creating a price comparison site? It’s a storyline already taking shape at Culver City-based eSalon, a six-year-old custom hair color startup founded by former PriceGrabber founders and early employees Tamim Mourad, Omar Mourad, Cory Rosenberg, and Francisco Gimenez, the latter being the company’s CEO. A far cry from digital coupons and search engine marketing arbitrage, eSalon is a…
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    Facebook never forgets: Now users can search your status updates on mobile

    Facebook’s mobile search tool might finally match the utility of its online counterpart. A limited number of users can now search their friends’ status updates — a feature that’s already available on the Facebook website — through the company’s mobile application, according to Bloomberg. Making its mobile applications as appealing as its website has been a problem for Facebook. It’s often said that it needs to be “mobile first,” but many features aren’t brought to its mobile apps until a few months after they first…
  15. Web Crawlers

    Structured Web: YC grad Kimono Labs makes its giant respoitory of user-generated APIs searchable

    Information wants to be free. And yet, despite the Web being the largest repository of information in human history, only a tiny fraction of that data is machine readable. This makes the practice of gathering and analyzing data a laborious manual process. Kimono Labs set out to solve this problem, building an automated data extraction tool that allows even non-programmers to effectively create APIs to collect data from any public website. The product has been a major hit leading…
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    ISIS’ embrace of technology now includes drones

    ISIS, the terrorist organization that the War Nerd has covered extensively, has gotten its hands on a drone. It’s just a little one, equipped with a “smart” camera instead of the missiles attached to drones used by the United States, but it’s already been cited as a factor in the group’s ability to capture an air base in Syria, which was the last bastion of the Syrian government’s power in the region. Business Insider reported on the drone’s use…
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    Wanda, Tencent, and Baidu form Chinese e-commerce juggernaut

    Wanda, Tencent, and Baidu have partnered to create an $814 million e-commerce network in China, the companies have announced. Wanda will own 70 percent of the new company; Tencent and Baidu will each own 15 percent. The company will debut later this year. [Source: Reuters]
  19. Here's A Secret: We Need Anonymous Social Networks - 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival

    Israel becomes latest country to try to ban Secret bullying app

    Despite recent attempts to curb bullying on its platform, the backlash against Secret continues. Now an Israeli lawmaker has called for the country to ban the app, just days after Brazil also took steps to block its use. According to the Jerusalem Post, Knesset Committee for Children’s Rights chairwoman Orly Levy-Abecassi has warned that  “the application turned into a platform for cyber-bullying for Israeli youth, who, in many cases, used it to smear and harm others.” It’s hard to comprehend how…
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    Shockingly, Chris Christie just lied in a press conference about Pando’s pension coverage

    Earlier this year, we published a series of investigative reports by David Sirota, revealing violations of New Jersey’s rules around pension investments. One of the firms with which the Chris Christie administration agreed an investment deal, Chatham Asset management, subsequently threatened to sue Pando unless we retract our reporting. We continue to stand by our story, and Chatham continues to have not got around to actually suing us. Meanwhile, the scandal continues to dog Governor Christie. Earlier today, during a…
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